De rerum: an acknowlegement and explanation.
INDEX: Linnaean

Friday, August 5, 2011

Telchinia esebria - forms

The Dusky  Acraea and mimicry.
The Telchinias are also known as the Bitter Acraeas because they are distasteful/ poisonous to predators, and advertise this with their aposematic colouring: reds, yellows and whites on a black background. As can be expected, mimicry will be the order of the day.
At the top is the form esebria, the red is alarming enough. The white sub-apical patches make her a female, (the male's would be ochre). She does have a resemblance to Papilio dardanus f. trophonius (Batesian.)
I came across some interesting publications on the role of the optix, (as well as invected and engrailed)  gene's role in the red pigment of the S. American Helioconius, and its part in mimicry and convergent evolution.
Next two pictures are of the ochrous form f. protea (our most common.) The larger of the mating pair with the white sub-apical markings is the female.
At the bottom is the form monteironis with white markings only.
The Acreaea (previously Bematistes) aganice is a Mullerian co-mimic of T. Esebria, the male of the male f. proteus, the female of f. monteironis. The unrelated Pseudacraea eurytus imitator is a Batesian mimic.
See also T. esebria (I), and Telchinia the genus.
I have started Bates' Naturalist on the River Amazons; a wonderful read. (various editions can be found on either Project Gutenberg, or

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